Woman Says Holiday Was Ruined After She Was Left 'Starving' On Nine-Hour Flight
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A woman says she was left ‘starving’ on a nine-hour flight after failing to request a special meal due to the airline's 'confusing website'.
Amber Fisher, 32, has coeliac disease and says British Airways' website led her to believe she could tell a flight attendant about her allergies upon boarding and be given a gluten-free meal.
However, once on board the flight – bound for the Dominican Republic – Amber was told she should have booked the meal in advance.
The flight’s crew then scraped together some gluten-free food from snacks and their own lunches, meaning Amber was left on the nine-hour flight with some carrot and celery sticks, chocolate buttons, crisps, popcorn, nuts, chocolate bars and a tangerine.
Amber, from Isleworth, London, said: "The air hostess said 'we'll have to see what we can do' and then brought me that.
"She said 'we've taken food out of the crew food too' which was basically carrot sticks and celery sticks.
"I was like, 'for nine hours you expect me to eat this?' and she was like, 'that's all we have'. It was a pitiful amount of food.
"I ate the whole lot but it's like what you'd give a kid while watching a film, it's not an adult meal that's going to fill you up.
"I was on really strong antibiotics and hadn't eaten in the morning so I was just starving and it was a nightmare.
"I nearly passed out at the end because I hadn't eaten and felt really weak because of the antibiotics.
"I actually started vomiting into a bag as we were coming down – it was just water because my stomach was so empty.
"It ruined the holiday because it gave me major anxiety for days and I just felt crappy."
Amber said the airline's 'confusing website' was to blame for the mix-up, which states that passengers with allergies 'must inform [the] cabin crew of [their] food allergy upon boarding'.
However the site also tells customers they can order 'special meals', including a gluten-free option, which should be requested 'at least 24 hours before [their] flight departs'.
Amber says flight staff assured her that her dietary requirements would be logged so she’s get a gluten-free meal on her flight back, but says that didn’t happen.
She said: "On the BA website it states that you have to ask when you get on board and when I told the flight attendant she started arguing with me as if I was lying.
"I showed her what it said on the website and she just said, 'oh that's confusing isn't it'.
"I emailed and complained and they just said: 'We're very sorry about this, this isn't our usual practice. We hope you have a better flight next time.' No compensation, no nothing.
"You're paying to be on a flight, you don't expect someone to basically tell you that you're lying. It's massively put me off going with them again.
"The air hostess said, 'don't worry we'll get it registered so every time you come on a BA flight you'll automatically get it' but when I got on the flight back they just automatically gave me normal food.
"So they didn't even look into what was on my chair or that I'd applied for this meal. I just gave it to my partner."
A spokesperson for British Airways said: "We take all of our customers' allergies and dietary requirements extremely seriously and our catering teams work extremely hard to ensure everyone has the meal they want, every time they travel.
"All our customers can pre-request one of 15 special meals free of charge, including gluten-free meals, up to 24 hours before their flight."